My India

Juhu Beach 2 Mombai

Since I’ve returned from my trip to India I have been feeling quite rusty about posting. First there was the jet lag and then the putting our clocks ahead an hour. I was grappling for all kinds of excuses to put off getting back to my blogging habits. After all, there was lots of washing to do, bills to settle, phone calls to friends and family, groceries, cooking and cleaning.

And then there was what to write about.

For years, I have had a romantic relationship with India.  There was that time the Beatles went to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram in Rishikesh to learn transcendental meditation. That gave me a nudge. A place I’d like to go to someday.

Then, there were all the yoga classes and workshops I took: ashtanga yoga, hot yoga, hatha yoga. I got interested in Bhakti Yoga (the path of love and devotion), Karma Yoga (the path of right action), Rāja Yoga (the path of inner illumination), Jñāna Yoga (the path of wisdom). Those all peaked my interest, especially Raja Yoga with its lure of inner illumination.

There was the literature written by Indians which drew me in. Anita Desai whom I mentioned in my novel Getting to Mr. Right and Bharati MukherjeeRohinton Mistry  and Yann Martel. The list of fine Indian writers with amazing talents is long. I have always loved reading a novel with India as its setting.

India also interested me because of their sacred cows, their holy cities, arranged marriages, Hinduism, Buddha, karma, reincarnation, meditation and Bollywood.

I travelled to India with a friend I met at a yoga class. Without going through a tour group we designed our own trip with yoga as theme.

Except for Mumbai and Agra we had the opportunity to practice yoga in Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry, Rishikesh and Varanasi with different yoga teachers both from abroad (mostly Europe and Australia) and from India.

Spending five weeks in India both in the south and the northern parts is hardly enough time to know a country so large and diverse as India. I was barely able to dip into its traditions and missed most of its day-to-day life.  At times, during the trip, when I was sick and tired of its constant honking of horns and trying to cross a street amongst tuc-tucs, automobiles, scoters (lots of them – practically touching you), whenever I was confronted with the dirt and poverty I vowed to myself that I will never return to India. India is too hard.

Yet, at the same time it is soft. That is part of its beauty. The photo in this post was taken at Juhu Beach in Mumbai. A typical Indian family out for a Sunday afternoon stroll along the beach.

Click for some spectacular photos of Juhu beach

I  hope that you will enjoy my series on My India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37 thoughts on “My India

  1. First, I”m very glad you’re safely back. India has always fascinated me, too, on many levels. I know I’ll learn a lot from reading your posts and getting your insights.

  2. I have to say my sister I really enjoyed your writing about India Love Louisa

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  3. Carol, what an amazing five weeks for you and your friend … a time that will always stay with you, no doubt changing your perception on your life once home. I imagine blogging feels quite remote to you have lived so intensely for so many weeks, constantly surrounded by people, new impressions and experiences galore! I so look forward to reading your series. The opening photo is wonderfully atmospheric! Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend! Hugs xx ❤️

    • Thank you, Annika for your kind words. India surely was an experience that I will hold dear to my heart in so many ways. Some parts were difficult and other parts were enchanting. Sorry about responding so late but somehow my comments didn’t appear on my blog. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and stay safe. ❤

  4. How beautiful. That poverty–that hard–it makes it difficult for me to go there. I feel over-privileged, like the Ugly American. But I love your highlights of one of the world’s great nations.

  5. Crossing the road…I remember how traumatising that could be lol – your five weeks in India must have been richly insightful – despite the hard edges. Some people say the’ll never go back and that it’s ‘not for them’ – I think it’s more of an acquired taste, for some of us, we need time to adjust to the culture shock, and more overt poverty than we’re used to seeing – and have that mind shift of accepting a different way of life.

    • Cherryl, first, thank you for being here. I truly appreciate it. While I was in India, particularly the northern part because of the poverty, the noise, the crowds, I told myself that I was never coming back. Now, that I am back home and have had time to integrate my trip (writing this series has helped) I would love to go back and not only see more of the country, be in contact more with the people. Stay longer in one place to get the feel of it. Yes, there is the culture shock element and the mind shift of as you said accepting a different way of life. But that is what makes us grow, makes us better. ❤

      • Yes, we absolutely do grow from those mind shifts. Happy future travels Carol, when the time comes comes around again.💛🔆

  6. Your trip sounds fascinating. How interesting that you designed the trip so you could practice yoga as you went. I’ve been curious about India for years, having had coworkers who were originally from there, but I know little of it outside of what I’ve read in books or seen in movies. I have heard that India “can be hard” as you say, its poverty mind numbing, and yet it has beauty that stuns the heart.

  7. Welcome back Carol. I just returned myself from Mexico for 5 weeks. I know what you mean about getting back on the saddle. So much to do and backlogs of more to do, lol. We’ll get there! ❤

  8. I’m a true Indian and I felt very grateful that people around the globe including you travel to India foe exploring it, for learning yoga . Me as Indian citizen shall also support and respect people like you . I will be pleased to improve the Indian society and culture . 🙏🙏

  9. I am true Indian . I felt grateful that people around the globe including you travel to India for exploring it, learning yoga , learning Indian culture . Me as a citizen of India would also support and respect people like you.

  10. It’s really very heartwarming to learn that you enjoyed your visit to India. And you are right as rain when you say getting to know a country as vast and diverse as India in five weeks is next to impossible. Being a south Indian (I hail from Chennai), I can tell you that millions of Indians themselves never see India in its entirety. As a matter of fact, I so badly want to visit northeast India, but every time I plan to take a trip, I encounter a problem that prevents me from journeying to the northeastern states, which, let me tell you, are worth visiting. I don’t quite understand why you say you will never want to come to India again. Is that because you were fed up of the cosmic chaos? Or is it just that you think you’ve had enough of it?

    • Yes, it really was the chaos that got to me. So many people. So much traffic…But, now that I have returned home since mid February I have had time, through my blog post My India, to do more of an introspection regarding my trip to India. I have changed my mind and would love to return to India, especially to really visit Mumbai. I am happy to know you.

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